The Cubs have optioned utility man David Bote to Triple-A, as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times was among those to tweet. It seems that’s the roster move to make way for the return of righty Steve Cishek.
Bote, 26, has been a constant presence on the MLB roster this year since inking a surprise extension in April. He was off to a big start but cooled off considerably over June and July. After a recent hot streak, he’s sitting right near the league average offensively with a .257/.352/.429 slash over 310 plate appearances.
Given the difficulties, it’s no surprise that Bote has lost playing time over the course of the season. He has mostly appeared at third base, with Kris Bryant moving to the corner outfield on such occasions. Defensive metrics have taken a dimmer view of Bote’s work at the hot corner than they did last year, for what it’s worth.
More than anything, this move simply represents some late-August roster management — though it is also reflective of an evolving lineup pecking order. Bote will get some steady plate appearances at Triple-A before rosters expand at the outset of September, at which time he’ll surely be summoned back to the majors. No matter how things shake out down the stretch, he’s playing on a guaranteed contract through 2024 with two additional seasons of club control via option.